Learning To Take Up Space
I have released 5 episodes of Bold, so far! The common thread that has travelled through the shows is the art of learning how to take up more space. In a patriarchal society, there are certain behaviours that have long been associated with being a “good woman” and are typically rewarded. Some of these traits are being gentle, quiet, submissive etc.
As a result of this structure, one could come to the conclusion that women have been conditioned to reduce themselves. For many women, myself included, hiding their assertiveness, strength, and boldness is painful and lonely.
I have observed that more women are talking about coming into their own. They are rejecting the ideal version of the perfect woman and embracing who they are, they are taking up more space. This concept of taking up more space and becoming is something that I purposefully probe on Bold. I am asking: How do you embrace who you are? Where is the path to radically accepting who you are? What does it look like to be big in personality? How do you lead and be assertive? Are you reclaiming who you are? Ultimately, what does it look like to take up more space? What I have learned from my guests is that this is indeed a process. Often the messiness of learning a new way of being is skipped over and we instead share stories of reaching that end state. However, it truly is a learning process. I think it takes years and probably decades to embrace ourselves if we are outside of what society deems a perfect woman. It takes some significant unlearning to then learn how to take up more space. If taking up more space and becoming more “you” is a process that spans years, why don’t we talk about it more? The real vulnerability is expressing the pain and self-doubt along the way. The image that comes to mind in the process of taking up more is that of a wild woman. Nope, not crazy -- wild. She is free, she is bold, and she knows who she is.
Clarissa Pinkola Estes does an amazing job of talking about the wild woman and the radical acceptance (taking up space). She writes Women Who Run with The Wolves and the book is an invitation to your wild womanhood. She writes:
“The doors to the world of the wild are few but precious. If you have a deep scar, that is a door, if you have an old, old story, that is a door. If you love the sky and the water so much you almost cannot bear it, that is a door. If you yearn for a deeper life, a full life, a sane life, that is a door.”
There are many doors to being emboldened -- there are many doors to the “world of the wild.” There are many doors to take up more space.
Once you find the door and walk through it, what follows is years of unlearning, learning, trying, failing, breathing deeper, speaking up, accepting who you are - and in radically accepting who you are - you’ve claimed your space!